Brexit: Nicola Sturgeon leads calls for People’s Vote during extension

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Nicola Sturgeon led calls for the UK to use extra time granted through a fresh Brexit delay to hold a second EU referendum.

Nicola Sturgeon led calls for the UK to use extra time granted through a fresh Brexit delay to hold a second EU referendum.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: Brexit proves benefits of independence in Europe
After six hours of tough negotiation in Brussels, EU leaders announced that Brexit day would be pushed back to 31 October, with European Council President Donald Tusk warning the UK: “Please do not waste this time.”

READ MORE: Brexit postponed: EU leaders agree Article 50 extension to 31 October
The First Minister tweeted on Thursday morning: “It is a relief that - thanks to the patience of the EU - we will not be crashing out tomorrow.

“But the UK must not waste this time - allowing people to decide if they still want to leave is now imperative. And Scotland’s interests must be protected.”

The SNP’s Europe spokesman at Westminster, Stephen Gethins said the Prime Minister “must use this time to hold a fresh EU referendum with the option to Remain on the ballot paper.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for extra Brexit time to be used to hold a second EU referendum

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for extra Brexit time to be used to hold a second EU referendum

On Wednesday, Theresa May was challenged by SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford over whether she would allow a second referendum, and did not rule it out.

Mr Gethins said compromise talks between the government and Labour that are set to resume today had to include the option of a referendum.

“It is welcome that we will not be crashing out on Friday but Scotland did not vote for Brexit and should not be forced to accept a Brexit deal put together by Labour and the Tories – parties that have ignored Scotland’s voice and interests every step of the way,” he said.

“Jeremy Corbyn must be clear on exactly what he is willing to concede to in talks with the Tories – if Labour helps them push through their plans to leave the Single Market, ending freedom of movement - which will cost jobs and hit public services - they will not be forgiven at the ballot box in Scotland.”

Nicola Sturgeon is leading calls for a People's Vote. Picture: AFP/Getty

Nicola Sturgeon is leading calls for a People's Vote. Picture: AFP/Getty

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said the extension of Article 50, which will be put into effect without the need for a vote in Parliament, was “a lifeline”.

“The Conservatives have dragged the country into chaos, but the extension agreed in the early hours of this morning offers a route out from the Brexit mess they have created,” Mr Brake said.

"A flexible extension until 31st October is long enough to hold a People's Vote. The Prime Minister must now show leadership by handing the decision back to the British public.

"It is long overdue that Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn abandon their party political games, stop wasting time, and give the people the final say with an option to stay in the EU.”

And Labour MP Paul Sweeney, who backs a second EU referendum, said the fresh delay was a “positive result”.

“It gives the UK an opportunity to fully consider its options, and for Parliament to find a majority for a way ahead,” he said.

“We also now have time to put any final deal back to the people to ratify in a public vote.”